Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Had A Dream

Sometimes, when I am in a rut (like I have been for the past couple of days...okay...maybe more than a couple of days), I like to find a way to switch things up and see if a shake-up in my perspective doesn't help me dig myself out of whatever funk I'm in. That is what today's post is about. I decided to look back at what I was feeling exactly six months ago and to compare my perspective then to my perspective now.

In my February 10, 2011 post, I discussed how infertility and the relationships made during infertility have dream-like qualities. I stated:

“Last night, I was watching the movie, Inception.... A character says 'Well dreams, they feel real while we’re in them right?  It’s only when we wake up that we realize how things are actually strange.  Let me ask you a question, you never really remember the beginning of a dream, do you?  You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on.'”

“And, like the line in the movie, it seems like people who get pregnant after dealing with infertility 'wake up.'  ...Once they are beyond the struggles of infertility, it seems strange to them to talk only about infertility related discussions, while I sometimes struggle with getting to a place where I am comfortable talking with them about anything else.  They are trying to extend their character beyond the pages of the fairy tale…as if there is actually a life after 'happily ever after.'” 

“And then there’s the other end of the spectrum. Sometimes my fertility friends drop off the face of the earth once they are pregnant.  It is almost as if they view what they went through as a surreal nightmare that they can now wake up from and forget about because they have a baby in their arms.  I don’t blame them or judge them for that.  I imagine it might be hard to be reminded of the struggle of infertility when you have an opportunity to just embrace the joy of fertility.”

What a difference six months makes! I can now attest that infertility is not a dream you wake up from when you get pregnant...although, “early pregnancy after infertility” is in many ways similar to that “in between” dreaming and waking state. For the first couple of months of my pregnancy, it was difficult for me to tell which side of the fence I was on – infertile or pregnant - and both sides seemed to be calling to me...the same way sleep and my alarm clock do battle for my attention each morning. I think I have now become more comfortable with acknowledging that I am awake and this pregnancy is real. But the scars of infertility are still all over me, and sometimes I think I can hear infertility calling to me...threatening to steal my pregnancy away.

I also have a different perspective on what happens to fertility friends who get pregnant. I now wonder how many friends, who I thought had ditched me after they got pregnant, actually were just going through the tough pregnancy symptoms I'm experiencing now. I've already lost a couple of infertility friends, in part (although no one has said as much), because I dropped off the face of the earth for a couple of months and likely seemed to have abandoned my friends. But, most of my friends have stuck by me and I now know that maintaining friendships with, and providing support to, friends still in the trenches is the BEST way to embrace the joy of fertility. My friends help remind me of how blessed I am and just talking with them often helps me to recognize when I'm indulging in a pity party that I have no business throwing. They remind me to be joyful. And while we are still learning the steps to a new dance, figuring out what to talk about and what information to avoid sharing, I have faith in my friendships.

Finally (and perhaps the most important thing that I learned from looking back in the past)...wherever you are at in your journey toward motherhood, know that things will change. You will learn and grow and questions that you have now will be answered, while new questions arise. You may be in the middle of a cycle now, heading into a cycle, or at a crossroads in your journey....trying to decide which path to choose. Just know that wherever you are at right now, whatever you might be feeling, things will change. You might be pregnant six months from now. Six months ago, I really couldn't even fathom that possibility. I couldn't have known (or believed) that things could change so much so quickly. But it did. There were a lot of six month periods where it seemed that nothing changed, too...but eventually...change came. I now know that, while nothing is certain, there is comfort in knowing that so much can go so right in such a short amount of time.

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